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Re: The Cheese vs Onion uttapam debate - part 2

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
Mr. Naveen's example from Indian agriculture seems to prove exactly the 
opposite. The Indian farmers have been the greatest losers since 
Independence, precisely because the Indian state decided from the beginning 
to adopt the mantra of food self-sufficiency. Back-breaking condition of 
life in rural India was glorified and romanticised by people who would 
never spend a day in rural conditions. And economic logic was given a go by.

One could argue that farmer had the option of leaving their villages if 
they did not want to farm. But the Indian state had a stranglehold on the 
other sectors of the economy as well. As a result there was little or no 
economic opportunity or employment opportunity outside of land.

This is borne out by the fact that in the fifty years the share of 
population still living off land has stayed almost the same between 65-75%. 
There is no country anywhere, socialist or capitalist that has been able to 
develop economically by keeping that number of people on land.

Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan is one of the favourite political slogan. The present 
PM has added Jai Vigyan to this. But the fact is most Indian farmers have 
no access to any Vijgyan, and anyway can't afford it. Fertiliser prices in 
India is among the highest in the world. So much for subsidies. Farmers are 
said to get free electricity, but in most places there is no electricity to 
give to the farmer anyway. On top of this there is little storage or 
transportation facilities. It is said that 25% of our agricultural produce 
are lost before reaching the market.

The bottom line is that we the urban elite have simply sucked the blood off 
our farmers. We at least have to pay our soldiers some salary and other 
benefits in order to motivate them to give their blood to defend the 
country. The farmers don't even enjoy that privilege.

Globalisation and liberalisation, for the first time, has the potential to 
let our farmers escape the stranglehold that we have had on them. Let us be 
against globalisation. But let us not delude ourselves that we are doing 
this for the sake of our farmers and the poor.



At 02:07 PM 8/25/00 -0700, you wrote:
>I think instead of viewing this issue on terms of uttapams, a better example
>of farm production might prove potent in expressing my point.  Soon after
>Indian Independence the introduction of Ford Food processing in India
>resulted in the destruction of the traditional methods of farming and
>instituting mechanized farming systems.  This led to the displacements of
>many farmers and rural communities.  High chemical use on these farmlands to

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